“OK, see you!”: Kim’s Convenience comes to an abrupt end after five seasons

The cast bids farewell to the beloved Canadian sitcom

Fans and cast members alike were disappointed to hear the show would be wrapping up its run early.

The news that Kim’s Convenience will be ending early took many fans by surprise.

Despite a previous announcement that the CBC show would be renewed for a fifth and sixth season, the show’s producers announced March 8 that the current season would be Kim’s last.

“At the end of production on Season 5, our two co-creators confirmed they were moving on to other projects […] we cannot deliver another season of the same heart and quality that has made the show so special,” the statement read.

“I’m heartbroken,” wrote Simu Liu, one of the show’s stars, in a tweet soon after the news broke. “I feel like you, the fans, deserved better.”

Liu’s character, Jung, is the estranged son of the titular Kim family.

The show follows the careers of Jung and his younger sister, Janet, along with their relationships with their parents, friends, and romantic interests.

These relationships form the heart of the show and are likely the reason for its success.

After missteps as a teen that led to his estrangement from his father, Jung works at a car rental service while trying to further his career. Janet studies photography at OCAD, juggling working at her family’s convenience store with her ambitions.

Centring a story on a family of Korean immigrants in Toronto meant Kim’s had to find a balance between forced preachiness and glossing over complex realities.

And it did. Kim’s was as natural as a TV sitcom could be.

The show chose to laugh with its characters rather than at them and used second-hand embarrassment sparingly.

Watching it felt more like popping into a neighbourhood convenience store rather than listening to silted dialogue meant to deliver a message, or worse, unchallenged stereotypes meant to evoke embarrassed laughter—something even shows lauded for representation have relied on.

Kim’s is simply about the Kim family, and the specificity of their Torontonian story managed to feel universal.

The show received a popularity boost after becoming available on Netflix in 2018. This followed the addition of fellow CBC show Schitt’s Creek to the service in 2017—a series that went on to win all seven major comedy awards at last year’s Emmys.

Kim’s abrupt ending is akin to the sudden closure of a local business just starting to thrive. Since the current, fifth season was written assuming another would follow, the series finale on CBC April 13 will likely leave fans with unanswered questions.

“I was fully expecting to come back for our sixth season,” Liu wrote in his Tweet. “I thought Jung would […] finally get to show some of the growth that I had begged our writers for year after year.”

“It pains me that we will never see the full reconciliation between Jung and Appa. It pains me that we will never see Jung figure out what he wants to do with his life.”

Liu went on to reveal his unfulfilled desires to be in the writer’s room and direct an episode.

Season five was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which left Liu stranded in Australia where he was shooting for the title role in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He had to catch up by filming for nine consecutive days upon his return to Canada.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, who plays Jung and Janet’s Appa, wrote an in-character reply to Liu’s statement: “Love you son. I was always proud of you.”

He later took to Instagram to share his thoughts about the show’s sudden ending. Wearing clothes emblazoned with the word ‘bitter’—his brand—Sun-Hyung Lee thanked fans for their outpouring of support.

Visibly tearing up, he thanked those working in front of and behind the camera for their contributions.

Sun-Hyung Lee and Liu both mentioned their pride in what the show accomplished, as well as their gratitude for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Liu was vocal in asking for his co-stars to be cast in new projects.

“[A]mazing things can happen when you open the gates and allow more diverse and authentic stories to be told,” he wrote. “This isn’t goodbye […] this is only ‘OK, see you!’”


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